Qatar Airways fires pilots but bills them for airline scholarship training

Qatar Airways has come under fire once again for terminating flight deck crew while billing them for the pilot training expense under the airline's scholarship program.

Photo credits: Wikimedia
In a report from UK Aviation, a leaked letter to the employees show that "their services are no longer required" by the airline in which their last day was carried out. It is then followed by paragraph stating that the employee still owes the company for the “costs and expenses incurred by the company for the Scholarship Programme Agreement”. The amount is QAR529,000 or US$145,290.

Trainee pilots are often asked to sign a training bond which means that if they leave the company within a set period, they agree to repay or compensate the airline for their training expense incurred. However, this termination was due to a management downsizing decision caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It was not due to an employee voluntarily resigning nor was it a result of a dismissal caused by misconduct.

This raises a question on bonded training schemes as the employee has not chosen to leave but has been forced to by the airline.

Qatar Airways has recently been cutting jobs. Just last March, the airline laid-off around 200 Filipino staff. Just last week, another leaked memo showed that the airline will be terminating the contracts of a number of cabin crew.

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